355 days ago I was counting the remaining days of my career as a police officer. 21 years dedicated to truth, justice and the American Way was coming to an end. Jerry Garcia would have called it a long, strange trip; and it certainly was.
Now nearly a year has flashed by. I wanted it to slow down, I want it to last. I remember Marine Corps Boot Camp. God! Those days lasted for ever, like the summer of 1975. They packed so much in a day! Drill Instructors yelling at you, marching you, yelling some more and we were the 90 day wonders. Our boot camp experience was trimmed by nearly four weeks so they could get everyone off of Paris Island by Thanksgiving.
1975 was a world all on my front stoop. Big Jim action figure was all the rage and I had one. He could flex his big muscles and break an arm band. My yard was huge and we had a sprinkler to run and play in and cool off; we were addicted to it!
1975 seems so far apart from 1985 when I went into the Marines, but somehow 1995 was yesterday compared to 2016.
And now a year has fled.
I want to drag my fingernails across the span of time, slowing it all down.
In 1975 they would have a cartoon night, a big celebration of all the new Saturday morning cartoons and you would stay up, laced up on sugar, eyes glued to the T.V., a big block of polished wood with metal antenna and two dials, one for VHF and the other for UHF, and watch the upcoming line up of Hannah Barbara shows doing your best to totally ignore the dark shadow of Back to School commercials. In time you had to get excited about school, about the latest in notebooks and promises to be a hard working, note taking, student extraordinaire.
The future, kinda scary, felt better with the right tools.
I've been retired for a year. I've done some acting gigs, some writing, sold some books. I done some work on the house, the deck, the barn, my VW. I've changed my diet, lost some weight and have grown the most awesome beard.
I didn't get a lot done in 1975 but when you're ten growing up is a full time job. In 1985 the Marines was an adventure, worlds packed into six years. 1995 to 2016, 21 years of serve and protect and when I think about it there was so much going on.
And maybe that's it.
In 1975 I was able to focus on only a few important things. In 1985 it was quite specific, get your Marines from point A to point B and don't look like a bag of smashed assholes doing it. 1995-2016 was don't get shot, don't shoot anybody, Community Policing, SWAT, Domestic Violence, Lieutenant, Traffic Squad, Navy Housing, Bicycle Squad, Supervisor, Radio Tech, Records, Video Tech, Crisis Interventions, Child Seat Tech and all around nice guy.
I've packed a lot in 21 years.
I've packed a lot in the last year.
I have a lot to do in the next year.
I have the tools, the wisdom and experience and confidence that whatever it is, no matter how spooky, I can manage it.
Well. I better get cracking.